The truck driver charged in the deaths of three people Tuesday after a fiery crash on Interstate 16 in Macon appeared in Bibb County court Wednesday afternoon.

A magistrate judge set bond for Gerard Thompson, 49, at $50,000.

He's charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and reckless driving.

The accident happened in the westbound lanes of I-16 near exit 6 at about 5:30 p.m.

Killed in the eight-car pile up were Marjorie Jones, 81, of Dublin, Robert Day, 84, of Vidalia and third victim who has not yet been identified, according to Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones.

Seven people remained in Medical Center, Navicent Health and another at the burn center in Augusta on Wednesday afternoon.

Bibb County Sheriff's Capt Brad Wolfe said in an interview with 13WMAZ Wednesday that speed was a factor in the crash.

"That tractor trailer was moving at a pretty good rate when the impact occurred," Wolfe said adding that witnesses statements and physical evidence point to speed causing the crash.

Wolfe said that Thompson refused to talk to investigators and requested an attorney.

Thompson, who is from Palmetto, reportedly hit a pickup truck, which caused the truck to hit a smaller vehicle. All three of those vehicles caught on fire, according to Bibb County Sheriff's Sgt. Linda Howard.

According to Coroner Leon Jones, the two identified victims, Jones and Day, are connected to Greater New Friendship Baptist Church. Jones was riding in the church's van and Day was in a separate vehicle.

They were headed to a service in Macon.

VIDEO: Bibb County Capt. Brad Wolfe describes wreck

<p>Gerard Thompson</p>
Courtesy of Leon Jones